White Cake Recipe

A white cake recipe that is light, fluffy, full of flavor and easy to make! A great base recipe for any baker that can be adapted to other recipes.
This recipe makes enough batter for two 8"x2" round cakes or three 6"x2" tall cakes
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves: 8 cups
white cake recipe

Simply the best white cake recipe made from scratch

This white cake recipe is the perfect classic white cake. Light and fluffy, moist and full of flavor. There is a joke in the cake world that white is not a flavor, it’s actually a vanilla cake. But a white cake is not just white. Let’s dive into what makes the perfect, best white cake recipe.

white cake recipe

White Wedding Cake Recipe

White cake recipes where originally created for weddings. Only the rich could afford white flour and sugar so a white cake was considered a symbol of your wealth. These days, a white cake with a fine, moist crumb is probably the most common flavor cake baked for all types of occasions.

Ironically, where I am from (Portland, Oregon) the more organic and less refined your ingredients are, the more expensive they are. Funny how things tend to go full-circle.

 

What Is The Difference Between White Cake Recipe And Yellow Cake Recipe?

Many people confuse white cake recipes with yellow cake or even vanilla cake. Although similar, these actually are totally different types of cakes. Mostly to do with how the eggs are incorporated. A white cake recipe only uses the whites of the egg, sometimes whipped and then folded into the batter, sometimes added directly to the butter/sugar mixture. Vanilla cake uses both the egg whites and the egg yolks (usually) and results in a slightly off-white colored cake but in my opinion has the most flavor. A yellow cake is made with the egg yolks only so the batter has a very rich and golden color with lots of flavor and is a very moist cake.

fluffy white cake recipe from scratch

Vanilla and white cake recipes are both used in many different recipes as a base by substituting out spices or extracts. Yellow cake is traditionally paired with rich chocolate buttercream or ganache and is not often used as a base recipe for other flavors although it certainly could be.

Again, people laugh and say that “white” and “yellow” is not a flavor but making an order for “all egg yolk cake” just does not have the same ring to it. It’s just a way of describing the cake so we all are on the same page. 

How Do You Make White Cake?

To make the best white cake recipe ever, you need to make sure you’re using the right ingredients. For this recipe we are using AP flour because it is the most versatile. We are also using a high-quality butter that does not have any artificial dyes in it (did you know some companies dye their butter to be more yellow?) The whiter the butter, the whiter the cake. Traditional white cake uses almond extract which happens to also be clear. Now, I myself do not love the taste of almond extract so I prefer to use vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract.

BUT WAIT! You said that the ingredients had to be clear!

white cake recipe with buttercream frosting

True, I did say that but here we come to one of those “taste over color” rules in my book. There are not a lot of ingredients in this recipe that bring flavor to the table but the quality of the extract is #1. The vanilla bean paste and the extract WILL slightly tinge the batter to not a PURE white but for me, I’d rather have that than no flavor at all. If you absolutely must have a white color then feel free to halve the vanilla in this recipe and add 1/2 tsp of almond extract.

Another reason you might want to use almond extract or you can even use clear vanilla (imitation) extract is if you’re using this white cake recipe as a base for another cake recipe like my strawberry cake where color is really important. The whiter the cake batter, the truer the color will be after adding colors. 

white cake recipe from scratch

Why Is There Oil In This White Cake Recipe?

Funny thing, when we bite into a cake, certain things make us think “YUM!” Texture, flavor and moisture. Texture is achieved by proper mixing methods, flavor is achieved with high quality extracts but moisture is a tricky thing. You can’t just dump more moisture into your cake batter or you’ll end up with a gummy mess. One thing that makes your brain think “moist” is the addition of a little oil. I don’t like to add too much, about an ounce will do. I prefer to use vegetable oil because it doesn’t have a flavor and is colorless. 

If you don’t want to use vegetable oil you can use any other mild flavored oil. 

whats the difference between white cake and vanilla cake

Should You Put Sour Cream In White Cake?

A long long time ago (we’re not going to talk about how long) I remember reading in the cake forums about this magical white cake recipe called WASC cake that all the cake decorators used. I had no idea what it was but desperately wanted to know! Soon, I learned that WASC stood for White Almond Sour Cream cake and the first ingredient is a white box cake mix.

Whomp Whomp

simple white cake recipe

Now, I don’t actually have anything against anyone who uses boxed mixes or doctors boxed mixes. For my personal journey as a cake decorator, I was looking to make my own recipes that would make me stand out. Anyone can whip up a box mix but then it just tastes like everyone else’s cake. You see what I’m saying?

So why would you use this type of white cake recipe? Well not everyone is a scratch baker or wants to be. Or maybe they just want a quick and easy cake recipe that will for sure turn out. This recipe is definitely a no-fail and is what you might call a “doctored box mix”. The addition of the sour cream and eggs makes it more flavorful and moist.  It also detracts from that “chemical” taste that most box mixes have.

Would I suggest you make this instead of scratch mix? Well really that’s up to you. I promise I won’t hold it against you one way or the other. Just always be up-front with your customers (if you have them). If you say you bake from scratch then bake from scratch. If you use a box, it’s perfectly ok to say you use “freshly baked cakes”.

WASC-cake-recipe

How To Make The Best White Cake Recipe From Scratch

So here’s the deal with white cake recipes. Just like with most things, there more than one way to skin a cat… er… bake a cake.

Who even came up with that saying? So bizaar.

So anyway, as I was saying. There are multiple ways to make a white cake recipe but I’m going to make it REALLY easy for you. Option one is the traditional mixing style of creaming your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add in your egg whites until combined. Then add in dry ingredients and liquids. This is the route I go.

The other option is you whip up your egg whites to a soft but firm peak. Then you cream butter and sugar as usual and alternate your dry and liquid ingredients until combined. You then fold in your egg whites into the batter. This technique results in a lighter, more delicate cake but CAN potentially cause over-mixing.

You can try both ways and see what you like best.

moist white cake

One more tip, I always wrap my cakes while they are still warm. Wrap in plastic wrap and then place into the freezer. This locks in the moisture of the cake. Once cooled but not frozen, you can trim the brown edges off your cake (optional but results in a whiter slice) and frost with a nice white buttercream or any frosting you desire.

I hope that answers all your burning questions about white cake! If there’s something I missed, feel free to drop me a comment and if you like this recipe, please share and link back to me if you use it and I would love you forevah <3

Want to learn more about how to decorate a cake like a pro? Check out my FREE training on how to make your first cake ever!

Happy Baking!

– Liz

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Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.


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white cake recipe

White Cake Recipe

A white cake recipe that is light, fluffy, full of flavor and easy to make! A great base recipe for any baker that can be adapted to other recipes.
This recipe makes enough batter for two 8"x2" round cakes or three 6"x2" tall cakes
4.99 from 663 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 28 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves: 8 cups
Calories: 589kcal

Ingredients

White Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 8 oz (227 g) unsalted butter room temp
  • 14 oz (397 g) sugar
  • 6 large (6 large) egg whites fresh not boxed at room temp
  • 14 oz (397 g) AP flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp (2 1/2 tsp) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) almond extract use clear for a whiter cake
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 10 oz (284 g) milk room temp
  • 2 oz (57 g) vegetable oil

Easy Buttercream Frosting

  • 8 oz (227 g) pasteurized egg whites room temperature
  • 32 oz (907 g) powdered sugar
  • 32 oz (907 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 1 Tbsp (1 Tbsp) vanilla extract

Gold Drip

  • 6 oz (170 g) white chocolate
  • 1 oz (28 g) warm water
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) warm brown food coloring
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp) Truly Mad Plastics super gold
  • 1 Tbsp (1 Tbsp) Everclear lemon extract or rose water can be used

Instructions

White Cake Recipe Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 335ºF and prepare two 8"x2" cake pans with cake goop or another preferred pan release.
  • Combine milk, oil and extracts and set aside
  • Combine your flour, baking powder and salt and set aside
  • Place butter in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and cream until smooth. Sprinkle in your sugar and then let whip on high until light and white (about 5 minutes)
  • Add the egg whites one at a time (roughly) to the butter mixture while mixing on low and let fully combine after each addition before adding the next. If your egg whites aren't at room temperature you can microwave them for a few seconds. Be careful not to cook them! Cold egg whites will curdle the batter. 
  • Add in 1/3 of your dry ingredients to the egg/butter mixture and mix on low until just combined. Then add in 1/2 of your liquids, then dry, then liquids and the rest of your dry. Let mix until just combined. 
  • Add batter into prepared cake pans and bake at 335º F for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center. 
  • Let cool ten minutes then turn out cakes onto a cooling rack. Wrap warm and place into the freezer to flash chill. This locks in the moisture. Once cool but not frozen you can then trim off the brown edges of your cakes and frost as desired. Chill cake. 

Easy Buttercream Frosting

  • Combine egg whites and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment. Whisk to combine on low then whisk on high, adding in your butter in small chunks, vanilla and salt. Turn mixer up to high and whip until light, fluffy and white. 

Gold Drip

  • Melt chocolate and water in the microwave and whisk until smooth. Add in a couple drops of food coloring. Let cool to about 90 degrees before attempting to drip over the chilled cake. Once chocolate is set, you can combine the everclear and gold dust to make a paint and paint the drip. 

    *note: this is a non-toxic gold dust

Notes

Important Things To Note Before You Start
1. Bring all your ingredients to room temperature or even a little warm (eggs, buttermilk, butter, etc) to ensure your batter does not break or curdle. 
2. Use a scale to weigh your ingredients (including liquids) unless otherwise instructed (Tablespoons, teaspoons, pinch etc). Metric measurements are available in the recipe card. Scaled ingredients are much more accurate than using cups and help ensure the success of your recipe. 
3. Practice Mise en Place (everything in it's place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.
4. Chill your cakes before frosting and filling. You can cover a frosted and chilled cake in fondant if you wish. This cake is also great for stacking. I always keep my cakes chilled in the refrigerator before delivery for easy transporting. 
5. If the recipe calls for specific ingredients like cake flour, replacing it with all purpose flour and cornstarch is not recommended unless specified in the recipe that it’s ok. Substituting ingredients may cause this recipe to fail. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 589kcal (29%) | Carbohydrates: 61g (20%) | Protein: 4g (8%) | Fat: 37g (57%) | Saturated Fat: 23g (115%) | Cholesterol: 89mg (30%) | Sodium: 125mg (5%) | Potassium: 111mg (3%) | Sugar: 50g (56%) | Vitamin A: 1100IU (22%) | Calcium: 55mg (6%) | Iron: 0.9mg (5%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @SugarGeekShow or tag #SugarGeek!

Seriously the best white cake recipe ever made from scratch and from simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. This cake is so simple, I made it with my four year old daughter, Avalon (no my hands are not super tiny, those are my kids). This classic white cake recipe has a little oil to keep it super moist and has a delicious delicate crumb that melts in your mouth. You'll never need another white cake recipe!

The best white cake recipe! This gets rave reviews from all my brides and is the only white cake recipe you'll ever need

 

483 comments on “White Cake Recipe From Scratch

  1. Quick question? Can I add lemon and lavender and blueberries to this recipe? How would it change the integrity of thr cake?

  2. 5 stars
    Hi I just finished making the perfect white cake and your Swiss meringue frosting for icing
    It’s Heavenly…and I am an amateur at this kinda of baking

  3. I’m going to try this for the first time i realized I didn’t have white cake mix so might as well learn how to do it from scratch instead i have all the ingredients thank god 🙏. I will let you know how this goes thankyou for sharing your recipe you are saving me from going to the store lol and I get to try this new recipe im excited!

  4. 3 stars
    So I am pretty sure I followed the recipe correctly. I had made the batter and guess what I came to find out my oven wasn’t heating up! LOL Tried to keep my composure on that had to put my batter in the fridge.. i so did not want to do that. I made it the next night after I got home from work since they were able to fix my oven. I put the batter in for the same time and temp. I took it out and it wasnt fluffy how I wanted it to be it was very dense I also added mashed strawberries to it to make it a strawberry cake but it didn’t come out how I wanted. If I may ask can you give me any pointers so i don’t have the cake come out so dense and dry? :/

    1. Oh my, a lot has gone wrong here. Once you make cake batter it should be baked within an hour or the baking powder will not rise. Also adding in a bunch of strawberries is going to weigh down the cake and add a lot of moisture. If you want to make the strawberry cake, you can follow the recipe I have for that. There’s a lot involved in making a strawberry cake. I’m glad you got your oven fixed!

  5. I can’t have soy or enriched flour. Can I use canola oil and organic unbleached, non-enriched flour in this recipe?

  6. 5 stars
    Hello! Can’t wait to try this!

    I’m so sorry if this was stated but I did read a few times and couldn’t see it. What sugar do you use? I would assume castor rather than granulated but wanted to double check 🙂

    1. Hi! It’s granulated sugar for the cake and powdered sugar for the frosting 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Great cake and informative information. Thank you somuch

  8. 5 stars
    I used this recipe for my mom’s birthday cake. I made a white chocolate and lemon curd truffle filling and covered in fresh cream. It was so moist and delicious. It was a big hit and everyone raved about how good it was. I have tried other white cakes in the past and this is by far the best . Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, and helping me become a better baker.

  9. 5 stars
    Hello Liz. I’m planning to bake my grandma a birthday cake. I have my scale and ingredients ready but I’m torn between this (white cake), the white velvet cake and the moist vanilla cake. Can you please let me know the differences between the three (taste, texture, etc.) I’m looking for a fluffy and moist cake that pairs well with your Swiss meringue buttercream. Thank you so much.

    1. The white velvet cake has the fluffiest texture and is definitely my favorite! All 3 pair great with SMBC and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. The moist vanilla cake is very fluffy as well and is the moistest out of the 3.

  10. 5 stars
    Hi I can’t wait to try this amazing recipe!!!

  11. 5 stars
    I made this white cake yesterday for my adult daughters birthday. It turn out beautiful! She loves lemon so I filled it with lemon curd made from the leftover yolks and iced with a simple buttercream dusted with lemon zest.
    She loved it. Thank you for sharing the recipe and also for the great tips as well! 💛

  12. 5 stars
    Wow I just made 24 cupcakes and a small smash cake for my one year old’s birthday. Had a nice warm cupcake out of the oven just now and it was soo good. So happy with this recipe! I’m confident my little boy will love this on his birthday tomorrow!

  13. 5 stars
    You forgot to say what to blend the egg whites into. You just said to “Add in egg whites one at a time…” Okay. But to what? To the flour mixture? To the butter/sugar mixture? I guess it would make a difference.

  14. 5 stars
    The most amazing perfect white cake recipe! I have made it twice now! Thanks also the flash-freezing tip!

  15. 5 stars
    I’m not a baker at all……. but this cake turned out amazing! So moist and flavorful! Will definitely attempt to bake again!

  16. HI Liz…. I tried this cake and infused it with sweet/spice flavor… it was awesome… i always had problem with my cakes becoming dry after storing them in the fridge for a day or two.
    I came across this recipe and to my suprise the cake was soooooo moist and tender even after 3 days of refrigeration….
    thanks for sharing this recipe

  17. Hi, could I replace the milk with coconut or almond milk? Would it still be as good? Thanks

  18. 5 stars
    I tried and first time it was delicious! I’ll definitely do again.

  19. 5 stars
    I’m just going to say this now: I don’t like anything that’s just vanilla flavor. However, I made this recipe for cake pops, and I was worried because I’ve made white cakes before ( or tried to anyway ) and they have always failed. Except for this time, I have never been happier with a white cake. This is an excellent recipe, and deserves more than 5 stars, I just don’t know how. Anyway, we’ll done! And I will certainly recommend this recipe to my friends. Thank you so much!!

  20. 5 stars
    Ok I should of rated this cake long ago I have been making your recipes for a few years now. Let me just say WOW! as well thank you! You are very talented and this receipe proves that. I always make this cake anytime I need a white or yellow base for a cake and it is always so good!

  21. 5 stars
    This cake is really exceptional, you are obviously very talented. Thank you for sharing this it is amazing

  22. 5 stars
    Hi Liz!
    This is my all time favorite recipe to use for every occasion.
    I just had a question… Would the cake be a complete flop if I added white chocolate to this batter?

    1. Hi, thank you so much! You cannot add white chocolate to the batter for this one. But I would recommend using white chocolate ganache as the filling and the frosting or adding white chocolate flavoring to the cake.

  23. 5 stars
    I made this into a pineapple upside down cake. Probably not the best idea, but a hit none the less. Can’t wait to try as a regular cake. I can tell this is a great recipe!! Thank you

  24. 5 stars
    First time i tried to make this cake. Easy to follow recipe and simple as well. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Kids and adults love this cake.

  25. 4 stars
    Probably need about a third of the icing from the recipe!

    Never made a white cake before, looks and tastes amazing just so much icing left over!

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